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Chill Out About Ukraine And Crimea And Do Some Yoga, Russian Minister Sergei Ryabkov Advises US

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A Russian minister has said the US needs to just chill out over his country's annexation of Crimea, suggesting everyone should just do a bit of yoga to help calm the storm of international indignation.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax that the fury of the international community over its hastily convened and democratically suspect referendum and subsequent annexation of the Black sea peninsula was just a "childish tantrum".

"What advice to our American colleagues? They should go out more in the fresh air, do yoga, eat healthily, and maybe watch some comedy on television," Ryabkov said.

sergei ryabkov

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said the US needs to chill out

"This is better than kidding themselves and others, when they know very well that the train has left the station and that childish tantrums, crying and hysterics will not help matters."

There was little, he said, the US could or would do about the situation now, apart from chest-thumping, so everyone may as well calm down.

"Clearly, the US leadership is really aggravated, and can't come to terms with the new situation which has arisen for the most part due to the deliberate line taken by the US and its allies in Europe to prepare anti-Russian forces to take power in Ukraine," said Ryabkov.

"Trying to demonstrate how unhappy it is with the exercise of free will by the population of Crimea and the decisions we took relating to that, Washington is ruining contacts even in places where continuing dialogue would be in their own interests."

The sanctions applied on senior businessmen and politicians close to the Kremlin by the US and Europe have been counter-productive, he said, particularly the cancellation of co-operation between Nasa and the Russian space agency.

"The situation is turning into a joke when, for example, meetings between meteorologists are cancelled," said Ryabkov.

US media has reported an internal agency memo to Nasa employees directs to stop talking to Russian counterparts, with the exception being the International Space Station, where astronauts from both countries live together.

The US is also suspending a "missile co-operation programme", Ryabkov said, which was "non-existent" in the first place.

The West shows no sign of taking the senior diplomat's advice. This week, Nato has promised it would beef up defences for its nervous eastern European members.

Nato chiefs fear the 40,000 Russian troops stationed near the Ukrainian border may mean Putin plans to move into eastern and southern Ukraine, regions which also have significant ethnic Russian populations.

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